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SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
28 159,032 Fri October 21, 2022
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $77.74 9.25
SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5

SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5
SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5

This lens has an aperture range faster than that of all of its successors.

SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Automatic, 7 blades
7 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
100 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 45-23 ° / 38-19 °
Full frame: 63-34 ° / 54-29 °
MH-R two piece metal screw-in
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
One-touch Zoom
Diam x Length
67 x 76 mm
470 g
Production Years
1979 to 1984
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-M ZOOM 1:2.8 35mm-1:3.5 70mm
Product Code
User reviews
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 28
New Member

Registered: February, 2016
Posts: 4

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 21, 2022 Recommended | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Still to try it out, but so far very impressed!
Cons: Heavy, but I like the feel of it.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Fujifilm X-E2   

I've been looking to try this lens for a long time, after having used and enjoyed a few Pentax primes in the past. Mainly the Takumar 55 f1.8, Pentax-M 50 f1.7, Pentax-M 28 f3.5 and Pentax-M 135 f3.5.

Finally got an excellent condition copy off eBay for 45 EUR delivered, yay! I'm using a Fujifilm X-E2, and was looking for decent portrait lens. Have been using the M 50 f1.7, which I love, but felt that maybe I could use a bit of range versatility.

So, here is a quick comparison to the praised M 50mm f1.7. Both at 50mm, tested at f2.8 and f8, ISO 200, on a tripod. Overall, I'm very impressed, specially with the contrast and sharpness wide open.

35-70 f2.8:
50 f2.8:
35-70 f8:
50 f8:
New Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: London
Posts: 2
Review Date: April 19, 2020 Recommended | Price: $19.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality at 2.8, Push-pull design, Compactness at 70mm
Cons: Extends a fair bit at 35mm
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm 2.8-3.5

Found one of these on eBay battered and apparently unwanted. The filter ring was dented and the glass had a few chips. Got it for Fourteen British Pounds.

I bought it thinking I'd try it before buying one in better condition. When it arrived I was pleased to see it was smaller than pictures and reviews suggested. Its aforementioned imperfections painted a picture of someone who had loved and trusted it, took it everywhere and probably accidentally dropped it down the side of a mountain. This made me think it had to be a very special lens.

As it turns out my intuition was right. It is one of those lenses I hope never to sell. Straight from the widest aperture at 2.8 images are crisp with lively colours and delightful bokeh. I tried the Tamron 35-80 01A but it simply could not compete with the Pentax. When I review my photos I like to know what aperture was used. Sadly, without an 'A' setting this Pentax does not offer that exif data.

Sold my FA 77mm 1.8 Limited and don't miss it. If I don't have my landscape lens with me that's okay. If I'm without the D-FA 50mm 2.8 or one of the Tamron 90mm I'm also fine. This lens has my full confidence.

By the way I knocked out the filter ring and now it takes a hood.
New Member

Registered: March, 2019
Posts: 2
Review Date: August 22, 2019 Recommended | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: build quality, image quality, fastest aperture of 2.8
Cons: weight, push pull zoom design
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 8    Camera Used: Sony a6000   

Lets not beat around the bush, this is a heavy lens. It definitely unbalances my Sony a6000 when I use it. Because of its old push pull design, when at 35mm, the lens is very long. The handling isn't fantastic as a result.
On the plus side, the lens build quality is superb, it is built like a tank. The sharpness, even wide open, contrast and colours are lovely and warm. Is it my favourite 35-70mm zoom lens? No it isn't. the Minolta md 35-70mm f3.5 has it beaten because it is lighter by 100g, has a 1:4 macro function and a more modern 'twist to zoom' design. Still, the image quality takes some beating on this.
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 197

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 14, 2019 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well build, compact, performs pretty well on Full Frame
Cons: Bit heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

I bought this lens years ago but I never understood why it rated so high. My pictures often were dull. Until I realized the infinity focus was not correct. So I removed the stopper under the rubber ring and now I can focus beyond infinity.This lens is a bit weak full open, but one stop down it starts to perform nice,the best results F8-F11. It is really sharp with good corners and almost no aberrations. As with most K, A & M lenses, expanding the histogram and tweaking the contrast finishes the job. Direct sunlight in the front lens from beside results in nice red halos, due to the typical red coatings Pentax used that period. Pictures taken with K1-ii. Recommended!

New Member

Registered: March, 2019
Posts: 1
Review Date: March 5, 2019 Recommended | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, solid build, no lens flaire, easy to use.
Cons: slightly dificult to focus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: A5100   

a great lens,

i bought it, 3d printed an adapter, slaped it on my A5100, perfection!!! i use the smallest camera in the sony alpha line so its not a camera with a lens but a huge lens with a point and shoot atached. the image quality is amazing, and great over all. the 2 teeny tiny drawbacks are that it needs to be about 100cm away from the focus point and that its takes a while to get used to the forward/back zoom in combination with a small camera like the 5100 (or it could be me becouse im 6'9 and have huge hands)

everyone should have one of these!
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2018
Location: California
Posts: 106

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 30, 2019 Recommended | Price: $56.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Good build, Smooth focusing
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3   

This is my main work horse for photography, although it's a tad heavy the image quality is superb.

Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2014
Location: Colorado
Posts: 497

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 25, 2018 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp
Cons: A bit heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: A7, K1   

If you do not mind manual focusing and compromise on the wide-angles (not as wide as 24-28mm), this lens is great to have, because it is almost as sharp as the much more expensive f2.8 zooms.
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 892

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 22, 2016 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp and quite fast.
Cons: Not an "A" lens or better still AF
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

I got rather lucky with this lens, affixed to a K1000 and listed on Ebay with little information apart from the fact that the camera worked and that the lens was in good condition. A quick look through the lens reviews on the forum identified the lens, got my curiosity going and a bid of a little less than the $91 showing as the average price for this lens on the reviews, got both.

My current favourite manual small zoom is a Tamron SP 35-80 (model 01A) adaptall so a quick comparison with it was in order. I would rate both around equal for images (without pixel peeping) with the following differences (with my copies anyway.....)
The Pentax seems better built with a smaller filter thread....and is a Pentax! Changing focal length is very smooth in operation.
The Tamron has the advantage of a P-KA mount but is stiff when changing focal length.
The Tamron has closer focussing, a larger filter thread and a little more at the long end.

I have some trouble focussing by eye at the shorter end on both so focus confirmation is a boon there. Otherwise, apart from maybe wishing they were AF and with more range, I am probably equally happy with using both....and the Pentax-F 35-70 I have.
Great manual lens.
New Member

Registered: November, 2016
Posts: 12
Review Date: December 15, 2016 Recommended | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpnes,size,
Cons: non
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5, Pentax ME.   

I got this lens for about nothing. Very usefull zoom range. Sharp even at 2,8. If you can get it, run to buy.
New Member

Registered: January, 2014
Location: Europe
Posts: 4
Review Date: May 20, 2016 Recommended | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Very nice balance on Canon 6d, fantastic handling,
Cons: none for my personal taste
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon 6d   

I really love this lens, on the 6d it's rather hard to focus trough the viewfinder, but i think that's rather due to my damaged eyes...
i love the contrast and overall picture i get out of this lens, it gives me a great pleasure to shoot with it...
Considering the fact that i regularly use Canon L glass and don't like some of them i guess i can say i'm rather picky
Can definitely recommend it !

Forum Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 81

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 18, 2016 Recommended | Price: $125.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, color redention, easy to use (one touch zoom), build quality
Cons: (maybe) variable aperture?, a little bit expensive (but worth every penny)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: Pentax K5   

I only have good things to say about this lens:
- it produces VERY SHARP images, with strong colors and contrast, even straight out of camera; comparable to a prime for all the range;
- I usually don't find it to be slow, but some people can complain about this, without testing this lens in a proper way;
- the one-touch-zoom does wonders if used right;
- one of my finest lenses, along with some Pentax-M primes (50mm 1.4, 50mm 1.7, 28 2.8) and some others primes;
- long focusing distance can be a little bit of pain sometimes.

Overall i can definitely RECOMEND this lens, and I'll buy it once again!
And one more thing: this lens in sharp
Some photos:
BMW i3 by Florin Radu, on Flickr

Little man at work by Florin Radu, on Flickr

Sunset by Florin Radu, on Flickr
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2010
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 2,066
Review Date: February 22, 2016 Recommended | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything, color, sharpness, image quality, etc
Cons: Minimum focus distance
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30   

I'm typically not a zoom person but I absolutely love this lens. It's more like a series of primes that a zoom, sharp at every focal length with great color rendition and many other superlatives. The lens has been adequately addressed in prior reviews so I wouldn't repeat what others have said. I'll just leave you with this simple phrase: A picture is worth a thousand words.

Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Oslo
Posts: 309

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: September 5, 2015 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, contrast, build quality
Cons: One-touch handling (to taste), min. focus distance (1m)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5 II   

This is a very nice lens. Build quality is superb, perhaps even a tad better than most other M lenses I've tried. Judging from prices found in Popular Photography of 1984, it was not a cheap lens. That may explain why the build quality is "one step above", though it could also be that my copy could be new from the box.

Fair enough, the focal range is not too useful on APS-C, and the one-touch operation can be bothersome. However, it has very nice image quality.
The contrast is superb, and the sharpness, wide-open, is nothing short of amazing

It's on par or better than my 50-150 at 50 and 70mm.
It's also, for reasons unknown to me, on par with my DA40@f/3.5 at 40mm wide-open. Comparing with the A35-105/3.5 is no contest. The M-zoom is better throughout it's range, though more extensive testing will have to determine how the colours look compared to each other. Aside from sharpness, I seem to prefer pictures from this lens over the "stack of primes" though. Given the A-lens' reputation, you'd think my copy was bad, complicated design and all. I happen to have two A35-105 copies, however, both of which test similar.

Minimum focus distance is the main drawback, aside from inherent problems with manual zoom at the wide end*. One metre is nothing to brag about, though I am going to try this lens with a 250D closeup-lens soon. Should be an interesting combination. The lens seems to be parfocal, at least from 1,5m to infinity.

Flare seems to be handled quite allright for an old zoom. There's some, but seems to be centered around the light source (=the sun), with some very small flare at the opposite end of the frame. There is a fair bit of chromatic aberration in high-contrast edges at the wide end, and it sticks even when stopped down.

Updates Oct. 2015.

* I've always found it difficult to focus 35mm lenses on my DSLRs, they're probably in a range where it's difficult to judge the focus in viewfinder/find something obvious to lock focus on, yet the DOF is too shallow to allow errors
New Member

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Austin, Tx
Posts: 7
Review Date: June 19, 2015 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build, Optical Quality, Sharp, 58mm filter
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3   

I was looking for a pentax zoom, this one is awesome. I like a lens with weight to help stabilize the shot. So the weight doesn't bother me much. It is a larger heavy lens.

I was shooting with the 28mm f2 k mount (Zeiss design), I found this lens much sharper. My 28mm may be soft.
I am definitely getting a second copy.
New Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: Jakarta
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 23, 2015 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, color, bokeh, build, everything are excellent!
Cons: not yet found
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5, A7   

really love this lens, i called the lens as "2 in 1 monster" or all around lens

here are the samples shoots from my flickr:
Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5

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